Laura grew up in the small
university town of Commerce, Texas. Her father was the chairman of the art department at the university for many years, and Laura was always surrounded by a wide variety of artists who were
developing and experimenting with new ideas, entering and winning important art competitions, and changing the world with an explosion of creative activity. It was an exciting time, and it had
a profound effect on young Laura.
When Laura was five years
old, a friend from the university offered piano lessons to Laura in exchange for some of her father's art work. With her grandfather's piano now at home, the piano lessons began. Everyone
in her family is musical. In his early years, her father played the clarinet. Her brother Steve played the trumpet, sang, and now sings in his church choir. Her brother Marlon played the
clarinet, and is now seriously developing his guitar skills. Her brother Randy played the trombone, and her mother loved to sing. Her grandfather played piano by ear, and could play
anything after hearing it only once. As she was growing up, Laura would hear classical music playing on the radio in her father's studio on the other side of the living room wall, and country
and pop music in the rest of the house where her mother was busy doing her own daily activities. Laura was exposed to and learned to love a wide variety of music.
When Laura was a young
student, she played the piano for nursing home birthday parties, and her first paid job as pianist was playing for sing-song every Sunday morning in church before Sunday School classes, at age
10. Laura was an active member of the National Guild of Piano Playing Auditions, National Federation of Music Clubs, Texas Music Teachers Association, Hunt County Music Teachers Association,
Commerce Music Teachers Association, and Dallas Music Teachers Association. As a solo competition winner, she represented Dallas at the TMTA convention, and she was a regular ensemble winner,
representing Hunt County nearly every year in the TMTA convention ensemble performances. She won several 1st and 2nd place awards in the prestigious annual Mountain View College Piano
Competitions, and was 1st prize winner in the Texas Girls Choir sponsored National Piano Competition, performing in Will Rogers Auditiorium during two of the choir's concerts and is featured on three
of their recordings.
Laura's life-time of
experiences include church organist and pianist positions, pianist for open houses and private parties, weddings, funerals, rehearsal and performance pianist for musical productions, local private
school music teacher, many years as accompanist for UIL competition, collaborative recitals and performances in Texas, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, performing in and directing piano ensembles at
state conferences, and more than 25 years of teaching private lessons. Laura's piano teachers have included Gwen Bauschka (Lareau), Eugenia O'Reilly, Sally O'Reilly, and at
the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Laura studied with Sedmara Rutstein. Organ study was with John Burkett.